Media Release: South African high school learners present youth protocol at COP 17

COP 17, Durban – 18 high school learners have crafted and presented the South African Durban Youth and Children's Protocol in an effort to make their voices heard during the 17th Conference of Parties (COP 17) underway in Durban.

The protocol follows an intensive year-long programme as well as a simulated youth climate negotiation that took place on the opening day of COP 17.

The negotiation and the ensuing protocol forms part of Youth@SAIIA’s Environmental Sustainability Project.

The learners formally handed over the protocol to the Minister of Women, Children and People with Disabilities, Minister Lulu Xingwana, yesterday, during an official UNFCCC side event. In accepting the protocol, Minister Xingwana commended the group on the seriousness of their work and encouraged them to build on these efforts by being the generation that finds solutions to the challenges of climate change.

About the Youth Climate Negotiations

On Monday, 28 November 2011, the group held a simulated Youth Climate Negotiation on the opening day of COP 17. Each learner was required to immerse her/himself into the role of a stakeholder and raise the issues affecting a particular sector. This included taking on the role of a commercial farmer, a representative of the fossil fuel industry, a member of the African Union, or a representative of the forestry industry. The idea was to put forward the positions of these sectors (as they would be in the “real world”) and find genuine solutions to the effects of climate change. The negotiation process was aimed at providing learners with a context of various climate change concerns and helped them to understand the complexity of the issues.

29 Nov 2011